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Practical C Programming (A Nutshell handbook) [Paperback]

Steve Oualline
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 22.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Aug 1997 1565923065 978-1565923065 3

There are lots of introductory C books, but this is the first one that has the no-nonsense, practical approach that has made Nutshell Handbooks® famous.C programming is more than just getting the syntax right. Style and debugging also play a tremendous part in creating programs that run well and are easy to maintain. This book teaches you not only the mechanics of programming, but also describes how to create programs that are easy to read, debug, and update.Practical rules are stressed. For example, there are fifteen precedence rules in C (&& comes before || comes before ?:). The practical programmer reduces these to two:

  • Multiplication and division come before addition and subtraction.
Contrary to popular belief, most programmers do not spend most of their time creating code. Most of their time is spent modifying someone else's code. This books shows you how to avoid the all-too-common obfuscated uses of C (and also to recognize these uses when you encounter them in existing programs) and thereby to leave code that the programmer responsible for maintenance does not have to struggle with. Electronic Archaeology, the art of going through someone else's code, is described.This third edition introduces popular Integrated Development Environments on Windows systems, as well as UNIX programming utilities, and features a large statistics-generating program to pull together the concepts and features in the language.

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Practical C Programming (A Nutshell handbook) + C Pocket Reference + The  C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (11 Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565923065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565923065
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

As scary as this may sound, this book actually makes C sound like fun! -- Kenneth Wilcox, Boise Software Developers Group, Feb 2003

From the Publisher

Practical C Programming teaches you not only the mechanics of programming, but also how to create programs that are easy to read, maintain, and debug. This third edition introduces popular Integrated Development Environments on Windows systems, as well as UNIX programming utilities, and features a large statistics-generating program to pull together the concepts and features in the language.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Directed me to the right path immediately. 28 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The book is an extremely well written book about C. It teaches C in a very structured way that allows everyone to begin to understand the C programming language and its history. I learnt more about C from this book in a few hours than I had done from my entire reading experiance from other books.
All good C programmers know that becoming an adept user of C comes from experiance. This book gives you the knowlegde to start your learning curve and acts as a handy easy-to-use reference when writing code.
Beginners: Drop all other C books... buy this one.
When you have finnished reading this book... you will be well on your way. Then its just a question of practise makes perfect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book to start learning C... 12 Nov 2003
By DiBosco VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
...or even improve your basic C skills with!
Steve Oualline, in this book, sets out how to write in C in a precise, easy to use fashion - even if you know next to nothing about how to write software. It's suitable for both getting started with embedded C and for PC based software, is explained in a manner that is neither condesending nor too highbrow.
Styling is covered in a sensible way, explaining both how you should make code readable for other people, but also that there isn't only one style that is correct.
Right through from getting your first "Hello World" program, through arrays, structures and pointers, topics are covered in a way to get the programmer started and give enough knowledge to experiment and expand your knowledge. Pitfalls and common problems are regularly outlined. There's even a great little chapter called "C's dustier corners" that tells of some of the parts of C you should avoid!
I've yet to find a better book about how to program in C.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good content but badly outdated 8 April 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an OK introduction to the C programming language but you can do much better.
It never really gets much beyond the basics, although there's some goodish material on coding linked lists and binary trees and suchlike. The best aspect is that it teaches good programming discipline and good coding style. The worst aspect is that it is badly out of date. This 3rd edition was published in 1997. Had it been up to date for 1997 it would still be useful, but it wasn't. An early chapter on IDEs discusses Turbo C++ and Visual C++ 1.0. Were you still using those in 1997? In a brief section on bitmapped graphics, I was shocked to read the following sentence: "More and more computers now have graphics. For the PC, there are graphics devices like EGA and VGA cards...". Really? EGA cards?
Yes, this book, like C, dates from ancient times when the mouse hadn't been invented, output devices were line-oriented and the graphical user interface a distant dream. Every programmer had to roll his own linked list and do his own memory management.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Good entry book to the language, teaches you basic programming style and how to start writing good C code.
You'll find yourself jumping back to the book as you write your first clusters of programs.
Later on, the book seems to bring you into advanced basic C programming if such a phrase makes sense..
I recommend that a C bible or reference book that is around the intermediate level is bought too.. you'll find yourself wanting to know more about whats available in C as you complete this book.
Overall, a good buy. OS independent on the whole. Dont buy this book if you're a beginner but want to integrate what you do into a Windows programming.. but buy this first before jumping into GUI programming anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy or not to buy. 19 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Though this books starts out very well, in stepwise fashion highlighting all the 'tool' needed to programme in C, it does dither later on. The section on pointers is one of many 'let downs'. I had lent the book to a few friends who also pointed out that the pointers was not 'described' as well as other books. I tend to lend and borrow books from friends and this was my first book on C. The response I got back from many was that this book did not clarify alot and it was riddled with alot of mistakes. The examples could be done as much as possible, but to make the book much better would be to encorporate the solutions at the back, as opposed to purchasing the book seperately. Nonetheless, the book is okay, but needs to address the fundamentals, like pointers for example, with a little more attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 7 May 2008
By "H"
Format:Paperback
Most C beginner books teach you how to write C, this book teaches you how to write GOOD C. It teaches you all the tips and tricks that will save you time and stop you messing up in the future. It goes through step by step with little quizzes and exercises at the end of each chapter and it is a pleasure to read.
A must for any wannabe GOOD C programmer and then after reading all of this book and trying all the exercises I recommend you move onto a more advanced C book "The C programming Language" by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie.
Nobody is a better authority on C than Ritchie seen as he created the C language and he will teach you even more about C but "The C Programming language" is NOT designed for beginners so purchase Practical C, read it, then get "The C programming language"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mistakes are deliberate! 3 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The mistakes in the program examples that other reviewers complain about are deliberate - read the Introduction.
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